By James Axtell

This quantity includes a brand new choice of essays--four formerly unpublished--by James Axtell, writer of the acclaimed the eu and the Indian and The Invasion inside of: the competition of Cultures in Colonial North the US, and the most important modern authority on Indian-European relatives in Colonial North the USA. Arguing that ethical decisions have a valid position within the writing of background, Axtell scrutinizes the activities of assorted ecu invaders--missionaries, investors, infantrymen, and usual settlers--in the 16th century. targeting the interactions of Spanish, French, and English colonists with American Indians over the jap half the USA, he examines what the historical past of colonial the USA may need gave the impression of had the hot global really been a virgin land, with out Indians.

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Extra info for After Columbus: Essays in the Ethnohistory of Colonial North America

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From analyzing individual words it is a natural step to distinguishing observations (more or less objective) from interpretations of the objects or events observed. To note that the Montagnais did not practice regular field agriculture is correct; to conclude from that fact that they did not have a concept of private or communal property is erroneous. Finally, students need to grapple with the normative implications of different narrative "emplotments," the larger structures of meaning that all viable histories must have.

33 Virtually a casebook in moral history, The Invasion of America sought to expose the fallaciousness of the "cant of conquest," the willful propaganda-ideology mouthed by the seventeenth-century English colonists to "overpower their own countrymen's scruples" about the invasion of Indian land and sovereignty. Jennings made two initial moral assumptions: first, that "what we approve in past conduct will be repeated in the future," and second, that because "human persons . . have some power of choice over their conduct .

11 Almost invariably our textbooks commit three other verbal faux pas, to which students should be alerted. Prehistory is used to describe the Indian past before the arrival of Europeans and written records, as if the natives had FORKED TONGUES: MORAL JUDGMENTS IN INDIAN HISTORY 43 no real history until the white man gave it to them. Such a condescending attitude does an injustice to the historical value of archaeology, glottochronology, and oral tradition. Precontact is a better word. e. "savages") did to (innocent) white folks, as in the Virginia "Massacres" of 1622 and 1644 when the Powhatans surprised the encroaching colonists and in brilliant coordinated attacks claimed nearly 850 victims.

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